And you get a Humpback whale

By Sophia Coleman

In the midst of all the media coverage of the presidential election and Superstorm Sandy was even bigger news—the list of Oprah’s Favorite Things has returned after a two-year hiatus!

Michael Kors glam-studded high tops and Brooklyn Piggies gourmet pigs in blankets were just two of the 49 products the billionaire media mogul blabbed about in her list, revealed Nov. 6 on her website. It’s clear these useless items were chosen not because they’re revolutionary or unusual, but because her throngs of fancy friends and acquaintances simply wanted the publicity.

Regardless, Oprah’s fan base will scream like rabid hyenas when they’re given Josh Groban CDs and organic ginger powder on her highly anticipated “Favorite Things” episode.

It’s great that Oprah is gracious enough to give away products worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, but I can’t help but think the gift-giving promotes the materialism that oversates American culture. To give her list a bit of perspective, I rounded up five of my favorite things Oprah could gift that costs almost nothing.

1) Sleep: Between working at the paper and coursework, I rarely get a full night’s rest. I imagine this is the case with most college students, and even Oprah probably suffers from major eye-bags. Though one of her gifts on the list is a $2,699 Tempur-Cloud Supreme mattress, I think it would be more practical for her to grant the audience naptime.

2) Hugs: Can you imagine what a hug from Oprah would be like? Forget about the $3,099 Octane Fitness Q37ci Elliptical Trainer on the list and embrace her weight fluctuations. Svelte or curvy, I bet she gives billion-dollar hugs.

3) Yoga: Instead of the Bougainvillea Bangels, which are $39 each and “reminded her of her trip to India,” she could lead a transcendental session of Bikram yoga. I bet Dr. Oz would approve. Plus, Oprah could break out that yoga mat Jennifer Aniston gave her last year that has her five puppies screenprinted on it.

4) Baking cookies: While $88 for a set of four flavors of popcorn—rosemary, lemon truffle, lemon pesto and lemon kettle—sounds enticing, I’d much rather eat chocolate-chip cookie-dough with Oprah. I bet she has a few great recipes that cost less than $15, but if she insists on using 100-calorie Dark Secret Chocolates—which were #43 on her list—I’d tell her a bag of Nestle semisweet chocolate chips are only $5 and probably taste a hell of a lot better.

5) A mother’s love: Many people take their mom’s love for granted. Oprah has no children of her own, which probably explains her excessive gift giving, but just think of the maternal love she’s capable of. She could adopt her audience, and if they’re well-behaved, they’d eventually get what they’ve always wanted—a Bose Video Wave II TV and Casa Dragones Sipping Tequila.